- stand up in front of people
- tell them things.
But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. After all, dieting is simple – all you need to do is
- eat less
- exercise more
but if it was genuinely easy we’d none of us be overweight.
So what is it about making presentations that means it’s not as easy as it is simple?
My experience (nearly ten years as a presentation skills trainer) is that one of the main issues is that we over-complicated it and we think we matter.
This is simply dealt with. Firstly, when you’re asked (or told, or volunteer) to do a presentation, don’t panic. If you can stay calm for just five minutes – long enough to ask yourself these questions – you’re presentation is a lot, lot less likely to suck.
- What does my audience already know?
- What do I need them to know?
- What’s the best way to tell them the things between 1 and 2?
Like I said, it’s not complicated. The main problem comes from presenters telling people what they know, not what the audience needs to know.
YOU’RE NOT IMPORTANT – GET OVER IT
That’s all there is to it, really.
Being overly-nervous is a form of arrogance (yeah, okay, I’m over-stating this to make a point but you get the idea). It stems from the idea that the audiece is there to hear you speak. They’re not. They’re there to hear what you have to say.
Ask yourself when the last time was that you rushed into a presentation saying “I’ve got to go to this one because it’s Simon!”. I’ll bet on never or almost never.
What you do is rush along to a presentation saying “I wonder what I can learn about Marketing!”.
Keep yourself out of the picture. You”re a medium, not the message! ;)